To paraphrase Depeche Mode, today’s media consumers are all all about having their Own. Per-son-al. Je-sus.
In the past there was one Jesus, (in the sense there was a slim selection of media outlets where people went to gather news.) When people sat down to watch TV at the end of the day, they had 3 choices. Sure, the dial went up to 12, but there were 3 main networks making up the the Holy Trinity of US television.
A similar situation existed in print. There was one voice of authority, one daily newspaper. There was the New York Times. There was the LA Times. There was that one “Jesus” that gave all the information you needed.
Now in the modern media world that has fragmented into dozens of wheel spokes, we all have our own Personal Jesus. We have our own network of influencers. No longer do we go to one “church” to get our information, now we have personal churches. Whether that be a Google Reader feed, a Twitter stream or Facebook or FriendFeed, we now get our information from a variety of sources tailored to our own interests.
Put a cycling blog, a parenting blog, a foodie blog, along with feeds from a particular political candidate or party combined with various international news organizations and you’ve got a daily news diet tailored to a particular taste that’s perhaps not being served by the generic large scale broadcasters.In the past where we all prayed at the same altar of information, today we have fragmented into discovering our own little stream and filter that creates what’s important for each individual user.
No longer can media outlets sit on their laurels and rely on the fact that everyone, by default, will come and pray at their church on Sunday. (In fact, Churches need to accept this reality too as personal spirituality gains a foothold in society.) We have choice in the media marketplace and that choice is turning many people into Jesuses themselves. Individuals, not major media players, are becoming the key influencers.
Recently, Paid Content (a digital media news site) admitted they receive more indirect web traffic from links in Facebook and Twitter than Google. Even online the dynamic is shifting from a centralized point of influence to one that is more personal and relevant.
Media can’t rely on the bulk populations that mindlessly followed the one Jesus model of the path, they need to chase influencers and become a Personal Jesus to regain relevance.
Reach out. Touch faith.
This is entry was originally published on The Vancouver Sun‘s Community Of Interests blog.